Every Wednesday afternoon we load up our tri-shaw, which we have transformed into the “Happy Heart Cart” and go room to room in our independent apartments with a Mobile Farmer’s Market! All departments have worked together to make this a successful activity for our residents. The idea originally came from our Director of Nursing, and a CNA accompanies me each week to assist with engaging residents and passing out the produce. Our marketing department designed and decorated the trishaw, and Food Services has been amazing in ordering and stocking our produce items. We sell a variety of fruit, vegetables, grains and coffee for a minimal price. This provides our independent residents with a safe way to purchase fresh produce, minimizing their need to go out into the community at this time. Staff has a really good time with the theme and we always dress in some version of a farmer or gardener. Our RN Apartment Supervisor assisted me with the first time the cart was used and the residents had never seen her in a costume- there were lots of surprised gasps and giggles. It was a real treat for them to see their trusted RN participating in the activity and having fun! As we make our way through the hallways of all four floors, we play our Farmer’s Market playlist from our IPhone, which is created of songs about gardening, the country, flowers and the weather. Residents truly look forward to this activity and are often waiting in their doorways as our cart is getting off of the elevator. Residents are calling out, “We are waiting for you!” “Tell me you have blueberries left!” and “YAY! They’re here!”. Residents are clapping and dancing to the music in their doorways and waving to their neighbors across the hallways. To keep the process as simple as possible, we use a spreadsheet each week to track who purchases what items, and the total is added to their monthly bill. The activity continues to grow, and we typically need to restock the cart after serving just one floor! While the residents in our Independent Apartments do not typically receive structured activity programming, we have felt the need to adjust our offerings during this time. This activity provides socialization and even more importantly, another option- a choice for our residents to safely fulfill their dietary needs during the pandemic. The Mobile Farmer’s Market is strengthening the rapport between residents and staff and bringing joy during a time of uncertainty. I encourage all Activity Professionals to keep creating new and different activities to meet the changing needs of our residents during the pandemic. Our creativity and ingenuity are the perfect combination to combat the hardships that CoVid 19 has brought to our facilities and homes.
Consider what activities are the most meaningful for participants and schedule them first. For example, make sure there is time for physical movement, getting outdoors when weather-appropriate, etc. Schedule activities according to the natural energy cycles of participants. Think about when participants are the most physically and cognitively alert. When do people usually feel sleepy […]
Are you looking for fun and safe activities to do with your elderly loved ones? Crafts are an excellent way for seniors to reduce stress in their lives. Doing crafts has been known to produce serotonin and boost self-esteem. Visualizing, working on, and then creating an item can help seniors feel better about themselves. Crafting […]
By Kim Grandal, ACC/EDU, ACM www.recreativeresources.com Meditation is such an important aspect to our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Many people think that it’s just a metaphysical woo-woo type of activity. Some people automatically think of spiritualists sitting in the lotus position (criss-cross apple-sauce) while chanting ohm. I assure you, I have never […]
At some point during the overall healthcare experience, most residents are likely to feel vulnerable, fearful, or anxious. Team members who engage their resident-interactions with kindness, compassion and person-centered individualized care have an innate ability to calm many of these above-mentioned feelings while also strengthening relationships and improving resident moods, behaviors, and even certain health outcomes. In turn, these positive encounters […]
Five Improv Stage Suggestions that Will Improve Your Connections with Others By Cathy Braxton, Owner and Educator for improv4caregivers
Theater direction, just like the improv rules that can guide meaningful connection with others, are a wonderful short-handed way in which to remind yourself of what is important in the moment. Just as an actor on stage must summon and channel the character they are about to embody, stage suggestions that enhance that character’s believability […]
By Paul P. Falkowski Ph.D. For National Association of Activities Professionals March 10, 2021 As this is my first blog for NAAP, I thought I better explain who I am and why I’m adamant about volunteers for long-term care communities. I’ll give you the punchline first – they transform the lives of the people […]